Murdoch had a vision of booty

It isn’t “ludicrous”, it isn’t “natural injustice” that Rupert Murdoch should own a larger percentage of satellite television than other newspaper publishers can own in terrestrial TV (Leader, MW December 1 1994). Such huffing and puffing is good lobbying fodder for our competitors but holds no intellectual water, as those working on the issues (rather than the rhetoric) of ownership are beginning to appreciate.

May I remind your readers that anyone – anyone without other terrestrial television interests – could have invested in satellite TV at the same time as News International. Anyone still can. Few of the other major newspaper publishers did six years ago, either because they already owned lucrative bits of regional monopolies or significant slices of the local newspaper market – which we do not – or because in 1989 they lacked the vision to see a future in multi-choice TV.

Current thinking acknowledges that where there is limited spectrum (for example terrestrial TV frequencies) it matters who owns it; where there is wide availability (for example satellite TV frequencies) it matters less. And as the total distribution spectrum explodes – as the means of distributing news, information and entertainment multiply almost daily – there are those who believe that ownership will cease to matter at all.

Jane Reed

Director of corporate affairs

News International

London E1

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